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VALPARAISO

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VALPARAISO

A coming together of past and present. A balanced mix of man-made urban outlines and nature's bold brush strokes is to be found in Valparaiso, an enchanting and bohemian city with funicular railways that tirelessly climb and descend the slopes of hills dotted with picturesque dwellings - a cosmopolitan port that welcomes wandering vessels and stately and delicious Pacific beaches.
Valparaiso as opposed to the oceano Valparaiso Chile TravelThat is Valparaiso today and always. Many things may change, but not the essence of a city that emerged without ever being officially "founded", of a port that during the 19th century lived off cultural and commercial exchanges with weather-beaten "sea wolves" from the "old continent", of a corner of Chile that boasts it has one of the first railways in South America.
City of Valparaiso Valparaiso Chile Travel Historians tell that Valparaiso -capital of the region with the same name- has no exact foundation date, although many attribute the honor to the Spaniard Juan de Saavedra, who arrived in the area in 1576 driving a handful of native changos (child workers).
Surrounded by Mts Concepcion and Alegre, and washed by the ocean, the city which has now been named one of humanity's Cultural Heritages had its moment of glory in the 19th century, due to intense foreign trade with Europe, mainly with Italy, England and France.
That is why its streets mix old and modern buildings.
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Valparaiso, with over one and a half million inhabitants, is the "port of Santiago" and the most important Chilean port. Its special and picturesque feature are its funicular railways that climb the hills surrounding the port, dotted with tall, colorful dwellings that command a view of the pretty harbor.
A city laid bare. Our eyes are glued on this culturally and economically influential metropolis located 115 kilometers northwest of Santiago, Chile's capital city; a metropolis that - as travelers recommend - should be explored starting at Muelle Prat (Prat Wharf), where vessels of all sizes and from all the countries in the world dock.
View of the City Valparaiso Chile TravelThe tour should continue through Sotomayor Square and its monument to the heroes of Iquique, one of the Pacific War's naval engagements. The rosary of attractions seems endless. Here one finds the National Congress -it used to function in Santiago- and the Victoria, Sotomayor and Anibal Pinto squares, the Natural History Museum, the Naval Museum, the Cathedral and the Paseo Muelle Baron.
However, Valparaiso is not only a city - it is also a region with seven provinces (including the Juan Fernandez archipelago and Easter Island itself) and 38 municipalities that offer a series of adventure sports such as mountain climbing, skiing, hunting and nautical sports, among others.
Everything and things for every taste, in a port city that is nostalgically bohemian, where even the breakers seem to recite verses and the wind whispers ancient tales, while the funicular railways ply up and down the teeming hills and someone -maybe yourself- raptly gazes at the unending beauty of the Pacific Ocean.



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